Govt in Sh6.8bn secret water project in Murang’a, Raila Odinga claims

Monday October 10 2016

Cord leader Raila Odinga on October 10, 2016. He has claimed that the government is implementing a Sh6.8 billion water project that would have devastating effects on the environment. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL| NATION MEDIA GROUP


Cord leader Raila Odinga has alleged that the government is building a Sh6.8 billion water tunnel in Murang’a County that would have a devastating impact on the environment.

Mr Odinga on Monday claimed the Northern Collector Tunnel will gather water at the source in the Aberdare forest and divert it to Thika's Ndakaini Dam for use in Nairobi County.

"Seven rivers are targeted. All of them feed the River Tana, which is the source of livelihood for communities in Ukambani, Murang'a, Garissa, Tana River and north Mathioya,” he said.

He alleged that the project would turn the four regions “into a desert in five years” after implementation.

He claimed the project is against the Constitution because it ignored the right to public participation.

He alleged the Jubilee government is keeping the project a secret because it is aware of the devastating effects.


The Cord leader claimed the project began in 2014 and has been classified by the World Bank as a Category A project, which means the sensitive and devastating effects are irreversible.

He said former Environment minister John Michuki (now late) had raised objections to the project.

He further claimed that the Murang’a County Assembly had also raised concerns about the project and mandated its water, energy, forestry, environment and natural resources committee to investigate it.

Mr Odinga opposes the project though he unveiled a plan for it on September 18, 2012 when he was prime minister.

The project involved a first phase of sinking wells in Kiunyu and Ruiru to increase water supply by 64,800 cubic metres per day.

In phase two, a tunnel was to be constructed to divert the Irati, Gikigie and Maragua rivers, while the third phase involved building the Maragua and Ndarugu dams.